Open source project Piwik puts Google Analytics on notice

July 31, 2008

Ok, well I’m not sure if anyone at Piwik has publicly directed the comment towards the internet giant Google. The group behind the open source visitor tracking and analytic software however openly contends “piwik aims to be an open source alternative to Google Analytics.”

And what a job they’ve done! Though the software is still in a beta phase, its features are impressive, the interface is smooth, and the graphing is truly beautiful. The Piwik project is the offspring of another open-source, but less hip, visitor tracking system, phpMyVisites.

Why use Piwik for traffic analytics?

The features in Piwik are comparable to those found in Google Analytics. The biggest difference is critical however. You own the data, and the code is open-source. This means you can have it your way.

  • They offer a strong API to use in your pages.
  • Developers are encouraged to contribute plugins that install in a snap.
  • Just like Google’s solution you may track multiple sites under one account.
  • You may also add more users and assign permissions based on role.
  • Track downloads, affiliate links and ad campaigns.

The look of Piwik

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I love the new ‘clean’ look many web applications are using. Piwik is no exception. Simplistic beauty. [caption id=“attachment_95” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“Admin dashboard in Piwik”]Admin dashboard in Piwik[/caption] The dashboard view allows you to select any of the widgets from other pages to highlight whats critical to you. The widgets all do a great job of diplaying data, and most allow you to specify what type of output they should format the data. The various output methods include

  • Bar graphs
  • Pie charts
  • Tag Clouds (very cool)
  • XML, Json, and CSV generation (in new window)
  • and of course plain tables

The Piwik site has a great presentation detailing the 5 reasons they are better than the competition. They also have an interactive demo page to those who remain skeptical.

Nifty tech tag lists fromĀ Wouter Beeftink | Page content generated from commit: 15a22e6